| Cnemaspis selenolagus |
Grismer, Yushchenko, Pawangkhanant, Nazarov, Naiduangchan, Suwannapoom & Poyarkov, 2020
จิ้งจกนิ้วยาวสวนผึ้ง | Moon Rabbit Rock Gecko || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4852.5.3
An integrative taxonomic analysis recovered the new species Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. of the C. siamensis group as the sister species to C. punctatonuchalis. The new species was discovered in mountain evergreen tropical forests of in Suan Phueng District of Ratchaburi Province, western Thailand. Additionally, the analysis recovered a deep genetic divergence between northern and southern clades within the C. siamensis group that occur on opposite sides of the Isthmus of Kra—a well-known biogeographic region of cladogenic turnover. The description of C. selenolagus sp. nov. brings the total number of species of Cnemaspis in Thailand to 16, 11 of which compose the C. siamensis group—a lineage endemic to the Thai-Malay Peninsula. This underscores the physiographic complexity of this narrow peninsula in that it can support a large number of closely related species in only the northern two-thirds of its length.
Keywords: Reptilia, Integrative taxonomy, Thailand, biogeography, taxonomy, Isthmus of Kra, Ratchaburi Province
|Maximum likelihood consensus tree of the Cnemaspis siamensis group .... |
Photo by Mali Naiduangchan.
|Distribution of the species in the Cnemapsis siamensis group based in part from Grismer et al. (2014), Wood et al. (2017), Ampai et al. (2019), and Lee et al. (2019). Stars denote type localities.|
| Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. from Khao Laem Mt., Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi Province, Thailand in life. |
B–E. Adult male paratype (cat. no. AUP-00767).
photo by Mali Naiduangchan
Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov.
Moon Rabbit Rock Gecko | จิ้งจกนิ้วยาวสวนผึ้ง
Diagnosis. Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. can be separated from all other species of Cnemaspis by the unique combination of having a maximum SVL of 36.2 mm; 10–11 supralabias; 10 infralabials; smooth ventral scales; six or seven continuous, elongate, precloacal pores in males; 16–18 non-linearly arranged paravertebral tubercles; tubercles absent from lower flanks; a patch of enlarged spine-like tubercles on flanks; no lateral caudal furrows; ventrolaeral caudal tubercles absent; lateral caudal tubercle row present; caudal tubercles note restricted to a single paravertebral row; smooth subcaudals; caudal tubercles encircle tail; no enlarged median subcaudal row; two postcloacal tubercles in males; no enlarged femoral scales; no shield-like subtibial scales; subtibial scales smooth and enlarged submetatarsals on first toe. These characters are scored across all species of Cnemapsis in Grismer et al. (2014), Wood et al. (2017), and Ampai et al. (2019) and across all species in the C. siamensis group along with diagnostic color pattern characters in Table 2.
Distribution. Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. is to date known only from the type locality of Khao Laem Mt., Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi Province, north Tenasserim Mountains, western Thailand (Fig. 1).
Natural History. Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. is a habitat generalist that was observed on both granite rocks and boulders and large tree trunks. Specimens occur in evergreen mixed montane tropical forest they were commonly observed at night taking refuge in the crevices of large boulders or beneath the bark of large trees, usually in wet areas close to rocky streams that are shaded during the day (Fig. 5). Like most other Cnemaspis, C. selenolagus sp. nov. is adept at substrate matching and closely resembles the colors of the lichens or dry moss covering the surfaces of the rocks or tree bark on which it is found (Fig. 4C) during the day. At night, specimens take refuge in the crevices of large rocks or on tree branches.
Etymology. The new species name “selenolagus” is a Latinized noun of masculine gender given in apposition and is derived from Greek words “selene” (σελήνη) for “moon”, and “lagos” (λαγός) for “rabbit”, “hare”, and literally means “moon rabbit”. The name honors the Rabbit in the Moon Foundation, located in Suan Phueng, Ratchaburi, Thailand, in recognition of the Foundation’s efforts in environmental education and conservation in Thailand, and acknowledging their help and support in organizing our fieldwork in the Suan Phueng area. The recommended vernacular name in English is Suan Phueng Rock Gecko; in Thai is Jing Jok Niew Yao Suan Phueng (จิ้งจกนิ้วยาวสวนผึ้ง).
L. Lee Grismer, Platon V. Yushchenko, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Roman A. Nazarov, Mali Naiduangchan, Chatmongkon Suwannapoom and Nikolay A. Poyarkov. 2020. A New Species of Cnemaspis Strauch (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the C. siamensis Group from Tenasserim Mountains, Thailand. Zootaxa. 4852(5); 547–564. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4852.5.3